Even though the culture has redefined the term beyond my comfort zone when it comes to identification, in my core I remain a man of faith—a Christian. I follow the teachings of Christ to the best of my ability…except when I don’t. Let me see if I can explain.
In Dr. Luke’s gospel, he reports that Jesus told his disciples to, “Occupy until I come.” The word “occupy” comes from the Greek word, pragmateuomai (which shares the same root with the word, “pragmatic”). It means, “to carry on a business; be systematic; be active.” In other words, don’t get sidetracked by ancillary distractions; keep doing what you’ve been commissioned to do.
“And what,” you might ask, “were Jesus’ disciples commissioned to do?” That’s a good question, and while I’m sure other theologians would vary greatly in their answer, here’s what I believe is the gist of what he asked of anyone who claimed to be a follower: “Love each other, and love everyone else just as much as you love yourself; love…don’t judge.”
Here, in the midst of my years, I find that I am failing miserably in that mandate. For distractions abound, to the extent that I have NOT been doing what I’ve been commissioned to do. Loving? Eh…mostly, I suppose. Judging? Oh, hell yes! I am a world-champion “judger.” In fact, I’ve become rather profoundly addicted to the nasty habit.
“What does this have to do with anything happening at present?” I’m so glad you asked, because it has EVERYTHING to do with what is happening. I have gotten so caught up in the business of offering my two cents, i.e. “judgement”, on the unfolding events, that I have neglected the “business” Christ left me here to pursue.
I hope you’re following me because this is important. The “Occupying” he LEFT me to do is not what I have BEEN doing. Murderous syntax, but there you go. Especially when it comes to the, “Love…don’t judge” part.
You cannot, at the same time, love AND judge the humans with whom you share the airspace.
So, I’m just letting you know that I am turning from those ways (i.e. repenting) and RE-turning to love. Does this mean I no longer care what happens? Far from it. It just means that henceforth I will be more concerned with the “occupation” Christ entrusted to me: “systematically, actively carrying on the business” of loving. Oh, and disrupting MY cycles.
Please feel free to join me in that humble effort. RG…out!